Local & regional news

Nick Lippa / WBFO

Down Syndrome, also known as Trisomy 21, is a genetic condition where you have three copies of your twenty-first chromosome. That's why today, 3/21, is World Down Syndrome Day. WBFO's Nick Lippa spoke with Matt Lasher, co-founder of 21_Connect-- a non-profit based in Buffalo focused on educating the community about individuals with down syndrome. He shares how his experiences with his son have changed him for the better.

Nick Lippa / WBFO

Approximately 400,000 New Yorkers are currently living with Alzheimer’s, a terminal disease that destroys memory and other mental functions. Despite the high number, many who report they experience memory loss are not talking with their health care provider about it. The Alzheimer’s association wants to change that by launching a public awareness campaign like you’ve seen for cancer or smoking. WBFO’s Nick Lippa spent a day in Albany with their Western New York chapter as they asked politicians to financially support this campaign as part of the upcoming budget.

Chris Caya WBFO News

The Buffalo Museum of Science will be marking its 90th anniversary, this year, by restoring a key section of its historic building overlooking the Kensington Expressway.  With more here’s WBFO’s Chris Caya.

Savvy Over 60: Kathleen Garvey

20 hours ago

Kathleen Garvey, 67, has reinvented herself several times. She began her career as a registered nurse, then taught nursing in Houston and at D'Youville College in Buffalo. At the end of the Vietnam War, she used those nursing skills in the U.S. Army Reserves, then on active duty and again in the reserves, eventually obtaining the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. However, after two decades of military service, it was time to reinvent herself again. Garvey graduated law school and worked on Medicare appeals and the Erie County Medical Malpractice Reform Model. Most recently, she began her own elder law practice, but continues to volunteer with veteran organizations.

Savvy Over 60: Patti Jones

Mar 20, 2019

Patti Jones has considered herself a typical female since she was a very young boy named Peter. She earned her degree in Mechanical Engineering from Rochester Institute of Technology, joined the family machine and tool design company, taught skiing and snowboarding, raced sailboats, was "happily married to a wonderful woman" for 24 years and had a daughter. It was at the age of 50 - in 2004 - she formally transitioned and has since been dedicated to Western New York's LGBTQ communities as an activist and mentor. Jones shared her journey with WBFO.

Chris Caya WBFO News

Erie County and Niagara County both moved up one notch in the latest County Health Rankings.

Flora Buffalo

The legalization of recreational marijuana is up in the air in Albany. Advocates and opponents in the state legislature are running out of time to hash out a deal before the March 31st budget deadline. But as WBFO's Chris Caya reports - plans for building a high-tech cannabis campus on the Buffalo waterfront are still moving forward.

Chris Caya WBFO News

A new initiative is underway to help reduce poverty in the city of Buffalo. The state is providing $1.4 million to launch THRIVE Buffalo.

Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo

It was 100 years ago when George Rand, then the President of Buffalo's Marine Midland Bank, got the ball rolling in creating a foundation to help fund efforts to improve the lives of those living in the region. The result today is the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo. Its current President and CEO is Clotilde Perez-Bode Dedecker, who visited our WBFO studios to outline the Change Maker Awards.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

Once again, leaders of local religious communities turned out en masse to lament a mass slaughter. On Sunday, it was at the Islamic Center in Getzville following last week's mass shootings at two New Zealand mosques.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

The drums rolled out, the Irish dancers danced and there were even a couple St. Patricks. What was different was that every uniformed Buffalo Police officer providing security for the parade wore a body camera, a first for a department gradually converting to all patrol officers wearing the cameras.


St. Patrick's Day traditions are playing out this weekend.

WBFO File Photo

The State Legislature held a hearing in Buffalo Friday where lawmakers heard public input on public transit issues. State Senator Tim Kennedy is chair of the Senate's Transportation Committee. He tells WBFO News the state has failed to provide adequate funding to effectively operate public transportation systems across New York. He says mass transit is simply not reliable.

City of Buffalo / Buffalo Fire Department

Buffalo Firefighter Eric Whitehead is continuing to recover from third degree burns he suffered while battling a house fire in January. But he’s focusing on the future and getting back to work.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Dozens of students from schools throughout Western New York gathered in Niagara Square in downtown Buffalo, beginning during the noon to stage what is being called a Climate Strike, a nationwide movement by students who are urging leaders to take the steps to sustain a healthy environmental future.

Hours after the deadly shootings of nearly 50 Muslim men, women and children at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, leaders in Western New York's Muslim community were addressing the tragedy and vowing to do their part to ensure safety at places of worship locally.

MIke Desmond / WBFO News

Buffalo City Hall is out there seeking public input on how to spend the federal Community Development Block Grant money it is expecting from Washington, D.C. Officials were at the Lt. Col. Matt Urban Human Services Center on Broadway Thursday night for a community roundtable.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

The Community Action Organization of Western New York has announced it will be streaming the audio of its bi-monthly full board meetings, effective May 6.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Erie County District Attorney John Flynn says his office, at the conclusion of its investigation, finds that a Buffalo Police officer was justified when he shot a suspect who was fleeing from an alleged shoplifting incident in the early morning hours of Dec. 12.

Dave Debo

The Mental Health Advocates of WNY (MHA) recognized WBFO-FM 88.7 and The Patrick P. Lee Foundation with the MHA Advocacy Award for the impact they’ve made in the community through WBFO’s Mental Health Initiative. The award was given March 13 at the MHA Annual Dinner and Auction.

Mike Desmond/WBFO News

After just two weeks, the new Gigi’s restaurant at the Northland Workforce Training Center on Buffalo’s East Side is officially closed. Following struggles to keep up with demand, owner-operator Darryl Harvin has decided to give up the business.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

Planning for the new LaSalle Park took a big step forward Wednesday night, when landscape architects unveiled a model of what the park and the new park across the Thruway might look like.

Nick Lippa / WBFO News

The results of a 90-day public comment period on the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center Market Analysis and Feasibility study show 86 percent of those who responded to an online survey were in favor of investing in to a new convention center.

Mike Desmond WBFO News

Proposals were due this week for developing the DL&W Terminal, behind the Key Bank Center, in downtown Buffalo. The ground floor serves as the maintenance shop for the NFTA's Metro Rail system.

Special Olympics New York

Of the 7,500 athletes beginning competition today in Abu Dhabi at the Special Olympics World Games, six are from New York State. "Special Olympics is all about inclusion," said Stacey Hengsterman, President and CEO of Special Olympics New York. ESPN's coverage of the event from Abu Dhabi, Hengsterman believes, "really sends a message to the world."

Discovery Channel screen capture

A motorcycle custom-built as a means to support a project to bring a traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall to Western New York permenantly was unveiled in a nationally-televised broadcast Wednesday evening. A local State Assemblyman hopes the Vietnam Veteran-themed chopper can join the replica wall as a permanent fixture in Knox Farm State Park in East Aurora.

Savvy Over 60: Leslie Zemsky

Mar 13, 2019

Leslie Zemsky has perhaps the best job title in Western New York. As Director of Fun (and Vice President) of her family-run Larkin Development Group, she is helping infuse "whimsy amongst the warehouses" of what was Buffalo's first business district. A lifelong philanthropist dedicated to numerous nonprofit causes and board memberships, Zemsky began a creative new adventure in 2002 when the family sold its Russer Foods and bought the Larkin Terminal Warehouse at 726 Exchange St. Since then, the area has blossomed into a vibrant community hub powered by her altruistic energy, called Larkinville.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

Everyone in Western New York and Southern Ontario knows we get potholes in the streets and, probably this year, more than most years. Buffalo's Fruit Belt streets are also afflicted with sinkholes, and a whole lot of them.


Now living in Rochester as a self-described "Peace Farmer," Arun Gandhi works to carry on the message of his grandfather, Mahatma Gandhi. "We don't recognize the passive violence we're committing everyday," Arun Gandhi told WBFO in advance of today's keynote address at the Compassionate Niagara Conference. His message will focus on understanding on how passive violence "fuels the fire of physical violence."

Savvy Over 60: Peg Overdorf

Mar 13, 2019
Valley Community Association

Down in the Valley is Margaret "Peg" Overdorf. Hang your head over the Michigan Avenue Lift Bridge and you can hear her wind blow. This year, Overdorf is celebrating 40 years as Executive Director of the Valley Community Association, from which has bloomed a renewal along the Ohio Street Corridor to the Buffalo River. You may not recognize their names, but the VCA, Overdorf and her close-knit army of volunteers are leaving their mark on our region, serving families and turning former polluted dumping grounds into waterfront destinations.